Way back in the ancient days of eating gluten, life was different. My roommate at the time (fellow newbie teacher) baked bread as a stress reliever. I could determine the stress load by the number of loaves on the counter when I got home. Our tiny apartment always smelled good. We loved baking and cooking. We had to. We were substitute teachers and that budget allowed for many nights of lentils and fresh bread for dinner.
One year I received a “monkey bread” ceramic pot for a gift. I never knew such a thing existed and to be honest, I don’t recall monkey bread (or kuchen or pull-apart bread) from my youth at all. So this thing just *had* to be experimented with. Which it was.
And then I was diagnosed with Celiac. It has sat on the top of my cupboards in two states now and moved over 2,500 miles with us. This summer, I’ve made it my duty to investigate every nook and cranny of our no-storage-space kitchen and rid us of pots, pans, etc that we don’t use. When I saw this cute little dish today, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t throw it out. Not because of the gift-sentimental value (that relationship is long since over) but because of the mere-idea of baking bread with friends.
What the heck. Time to experiment with it again. If you don’t have a little monkey bread pot calling your name, you can easily use any pan or bundt cake pan (if the “ring” shape of Monkey Bread is important to you.)
Do let me know how this experiment turns out for you! And do adjust the flavors of the items in which you roll your bread rolls. Consider: rosemary and thyme, sea salt, garlic and tarragon, cinnamon sugar, etc. The list is endless.
Most Monkey Bread recipes call for refrigerated biscuits or dough. Obviously, that was not a choice. So while this looks daunting, it’s really not. Don’t be scared – Jump in and try it!
Monkey Bread Recipe
1 1/4 cup low fat milk, heated slightly (as you would for a baby)
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 large egg
1 1/2 cup GF Flour Mix (includes xanthan gum, if your mix does not, add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum to recipe)
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (see above note about GF Flour mix)
1 teaspoon gelatin
1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a small bowl, pour 1/4 cup of the milk. Add 2 Tablespoons sugar and 1 Tablespoon yeast. Set aside in a warm place to proof.
- Mix together your other dry ingredients with a whisk in a small bowl (GF flour mix, sorghum, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, gelatin, and salt)
- Heat the remaining milk a little higher and add the 4 Tablespoons of butter to melt it. Pour the butter/milk mixture into your mixing bowl.
- Mix on low speed the milk/butter with your proofed yeast/milk/sugar. Add one egg. Blend together well on low.
- Stop the mixer. Add your dry ingredients. Restart the mixer on low. The dough will come together a bit and is a bit heavy.
- Mix on medium-high for 5 minutes.
- While the bread is mixing, butter and sugar the inside of your chosen pan.
- Once done mixing, scrap the dough together and divide into small balls (about 1/2 the size of a golf ball).
- You’re now ready for rolling and topping your Monkey Bread.
1/2 cup crushed toasted pecan pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoon butter, melted
- In a small bowl, combine the pecan pieces, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix together well.
- In another small bowl, melt the butter.
- Working with each of the small dough balls you made, roll each first into the butter bowl and then into the pecan/brown sugar bowl.
- Place each dough ball into the pan. Allow yourself to push the pieces together a bit but not too much (GF bread is dense enough without our help! LOL).
- Continue rolling the balls until you have finished either (1) filling your pan or (2) using all the dough balls. (If you have extra dough balls that don’t fit into your pan, coat them as you did the others and fill another small baking dish.)
Rest, Rise, Bake, and EAT!
- Cover your Monkey Bread loosely with plastic wrap (coated with butter). Set aside in a warm place and allow to rise for 40 minutes.
- 10 minutes before the rising time ends, preheat your oven to 375F.
- Bake your Monkey Bread for 25-30 minutes (depending on the depth of your pan/bread).
- When you remove the bread, allow to cool for 3-5 minutes, then dump out onto a serving dish. If the bread is too “doughy” for you, put it into a large baking dish and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
PLEASE NOTE: These treats need to be enjoyed warm and can be reheated. Some people also like to add a powder sugar-glaze to the top of them before serving.